22nd August 2009

Above, around and then into Dovedale


Walk Overview
Time 08:55 to 13:15
Duration 4 hr 20 min
Distance 7.5 mile
Ascent 2697 ft
Walking with On my own
Cow Bridge - Hartsop above How - Hart Crag - Dove Crag - Bakestones Moss - Little Hart Crag - High Hartsop Dodd - Hogget Gill - Dovedale - Hartsop Hall - Brothers Water - Cow Bridge
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Cow Bridge, Hartsop

Found within easy reach of the beautiful Brothers Water, and Dovedale, the car park at Cow Bridge is a popular place for those who are looking for an easy stroll through picturesque countryside. Those who are looking for a longer day on the higher fells will also find this a great place to begin a walk. The more inventive fell walker will find this a great place to devise less obvious but thoroughly enjoyable routes.

Parking is free.


Route Map

Perhaps it was still a bit early to be up and about or maybe with colours like this to show off it didn't mind me taking a couple of pictures. What ever the reason, this made a nice start to the walk. Normally these things don't stay still long enough for me to take a decent picture

The route onto Hartsop above How from Cow Bridge is a case of walking straight out of the car park and into a steep climb. I know your legs don't get much of a chance to 'get going', but at least you only need to walk for about fifteen minutes before you've gained enough height to be treated to a view like this one of Place Fell and Angletarn Pikes.
And in the opposite direction, , , ,

, , , a view like this one of Brothers Water, Kirkstone Pass, Rough Edge (Nr Stony Cove Pike), Middle Dodd and Red Screes.

I was just about to start walking along the ridge itself now, but first, a picture looking across to Gavel Pike and St Sunday Crag.

For a little while at least, the view looking back along the ridge is definitely more appealing than the view looking ahead. Here you can see the valley leading to Patterdale, Place Fell and of course the two distinctive tops on Angletarn Pikes, which just happens to be my favourite of all the fells. Obviously I'm not in any rush to arrive, but someday I hope to end up permanently 'scattered around' the area between the two tops.

As you gain a bit more height the Hart Crag / Dove Crag ridge starts to come into view, bringing with it an altogether more dramatic outlook.

Another picture of Place Fell and Angletarn Pikes, this one showing the entrance to Deepdale


Looking back along the short section of boggy ground. There were a couple of hop, skip and jump moments required, although I have to say it was much drier than I'd expected it to be,.

Approaching the steep ascent onto Hart Crag.

And the stony summit of Hart Crag.
The area of sunshine on the left hand side of the picture is Fairfield.

In contrast to the above, this picture looking in a more southerly direction shows an altogether gentler landscape, including amongst other things, Windermere and Coniston Water.

Fairfield and Hart Crag.


Dove Crag seen here from the path leading down to Bakestones Moss. You can get from Dove Crag to this point by sticking to the wall for a while, before joining this path out to the left of the picture. Today however, I just headed across from the summit in what was more or less a straight line.

Front left is my first fell of the day; Hartsop above How, front right is the last fell; High Hartsop Dodd and behind those are a large selection of far eastern fells.

I think I'll walk around that bit!

Little Hart Crag summit.

Scandale Tarn taken from the same spot as the previous picture.

It wasn't half starting to warm up as I lost height on the walk down the ridge towards High Hartsop Dodd.

And a view back up towards Little Hart Crag.

That's where I'm heading, unless it turns out to be a stupid idea of course. I set myself the big rock as the point of no return, so if it did end up being too steep and precarious I could still turn back safely. In the end I decided it was OK to continue, although there were a few sections where I really did have to think about every step.
It may sound a bit strange to those who haven't tried it, but steep grassy slopes like this can be just as difficult to walk down as rock and scree.

Place Fell, Angletarn Pikes and Brothers Water seem to have been in view for most of this walk. When I set out this morning though, I had no idea I'd be photographing them from here.
I had to sit down to take this picture.

Now you know why !!

I suppose I'd better find a suitable place to cross Hogget Gill so I could head across to the bridge over Dovedale Beck. And while I'm thinking about suitable places, I may as well stop for something to eat. Quite often when I'm walking on my own, I just seem to keep going and it isn't until I'm heading back to the car that I realise I've had nothing to eat.
Those who know me would find this hard to believe. The expression "he can eat for England" springs to mind.

This easy to follow track leads all the way back to the car park next to Cow Bridge via the back of Hartsop Hall and Brothers Water.

Looking back into Dovedale.

It was lovely walking along here today. And because this was the closest we've had to a summers day for weeks, it didn't even bother me that the place was so busy. I was just glad to here.

Brock Crags, The Knott and Gray Crag seen across Brothers Water's outflow.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks